BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has announced the much-anticipated 2.0 software update for the PlayBook tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

RIM doesn't normally use CES to showcase its products, but 2012 is different and the Canadian company is out in force touting the 2.0 update, which will bring email support when it's released in February.

The email application acts as a hub for all of your social needs, bringing in feeds from Twitter, LinkedIn and others, and the app supports tabbed browsing, so you can view an email in one tab while writing one in another.

Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO of RIM is reported by TechRadar as saying: "BlackBerry PlayBook is already recognised for delivering powerful performance, true multi-tasking, advanced web browsing and HD multimedia in an ultra-portable design,"

With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 we are building on this strong foundation, as well as leveraging our strengths in communications, social integration and productivity, to allow people to use their BlackBerry PlayBook in new ways throughout the day," the co-CEO added.

After installing the update, users can control their PlayBook with a BlackBerry smartphone, where the phone can act as a trackpad and keyboard; this would be especially useful when you're PlayBook is connected to a television and you want to adjust the volume or put a new film on without leaving the sofa.

RIM has also given the calendar app a social makeover, adding support that brings in events from your social networks into one place.

The Playbook was introduced in mid-2011 but didn't sell at all well, mainly due to its iPad-equalling £399 price tag, smaller screen and lack of key features - such as email, calendars and contact access - when not paired over Bluetooth to a BlackBerry phone.

RIM has lowered the price of the PlayBook several times over the months, and just last week the 16GB model was reduced to just £169 in the UK.